Last weekend I was lucky enough to get the chance to preview Sonic and SEGA Allstars Racing, but before I get started on my impressions of the game I’d like to note that the build I played is not the final one, and also the Xbox 360’s were operating in a highly humid environment with two of them already rendered inoperable by the time we got there, and as anyone who has a 360 can testify to they can be highly temperamental at the best of times. I say this now so that people fully understand the circumstances of this demo and not make any wild assumptions about the quality of the final product.
Now that that is out the way with hit the jump for my first impressions.
By the time I got to play this build of the game, I’d been playing the xbox 360 demo, available on xbox live, for a not inconsiderable number of hours, so I wasn’t going into this with a blank slate, and I’ll admit that I already had positive impressions of the game.
Unlike this demo there was more than one track available and the character list was not limited to Sonic and Banjo, so naturally for my first race I picked Tails, and generally stuck with Tails afterwards because he never gets enough love (except from Flyboy and myself). I was quiet happy to find that playing as Tails was a very different experience to Sonic and Banjo, I even put in a race as Shadow and found it once again different, adding to the variety of the game and keeping things fresh because despite what I say now I will get bored of playing as Tails at some point.
The tracks were fresh and varied, done in the very bright colours of the Sonic Heroes game where all the Sonic levels seem to have been pulled from, the none Sonic levels also managed to maintain this colourful theme while still managing to remain true to their source games this was especially true with the Curien Mansion level. The tracks are varied enough so that it will take some time to learn all the short cuts and best lines of the track, however learning the track layout does not guarantee you victory as items relevant to each track (e.g. casino chips on Roulette Road) will appear randomly at time to keep you on you toes, never mind the random nature of the power ups.
Since there were a few of us there we ended up on 2 and 4 player games which proved to add to the fun as it’s far more interesting to overtake someone standing right next to you than a character controlled by the console. There was a noticeable drop in frame rate when playing on 4 player mode certainly when a lot of weapons were being fired but that is to be expected when a game is rendering four separate bits at the same time, although I hope it does improve a little before launch.
In summary the game was essentially more of what was seen in the xbox 360 demo, pure fun plain and simple, at times it will drive you up the wall when something happens to you on the final turn and other times you will revel in victory. This is shaping up to be a great party game (despite some possible frame rate issues in split screen mode), and I’m counting the days until I get it so I can race my friends on xbox live… and kick Urtheart’s arse.
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